YEL Referee appointed to National Youth Referee Development Team

‘Two things you are in control of in your life

is your attitude & your effort’


It has been announced recently that Hannah Gardner has been appointed to a national refereeing body to help the development of referees up and down the country.


Andy Smith, YEL Referee Liaison commented on the news of Hannah’s appointment, ‘We are absolutely delighted to get the news that our very own Hannah Gardner, YEL Referee, has been appointed to the National Youth Referee Development Team. Her enthusiasm that she shows week in, week out and her desire to share first hand her experiences will be a massive asset to the NYRDT’


The NYRDT is a body which listens to and takes the views of, a wide age range of referees to ensure that the future of refereeing is fashioned around the needs of those who need it the most – The young referees!


So just who is Hannah Gardner and how did she get to become a role model for young referees joining the YEL. We caught up with her and asked her a few questions to get an insight into this young rising star.



YEL: When did you start refereeing?

Hannah: I started refereeing when I was 14


YEL: Where abouts in the area do you live?

Hannah: I live in Southwell, Nottinghamshire


YEL: What made you want to get into refereeing?

Hannah: I started out refereeing my younger brother’s team when they didn’t get appointed a ref as my dad was the manager, from there I took a real interest into refereeing and when I turned 14 I booked myself onto a referees course to be able to do it officially.


YEL: What Leagues do you referee in?

Hannah: YEL, NSL – I have been fortunate enough to be selected to be part of the match official team on a couple of occasions throughout my refereeing career for the FA girls England Talent Pathway League, EMWFL & FA Women’s National League


YEL: What is your mentor role with Notts FA – how long have you been doing it?

Hannah: I did a course on mentoring with Notts FA, done it for around 1 year officially


YEL: Which team (if any) do you/did you play for?

Hannah: I played for Southwell City Ladies (not anymore)


YEL: What position do/did you play?

Hannah: I played centre back


YEL: Which referee inspires you?

Hannah: Rebecca Welch / Sian Massey


YEL: What makes you feel good on the pitch?

Hannah: When the players around you are enjoying the game and the atmosphere around the pitch is positive. ‘If you don’t notice me, I must have done a good job’


YEL: What causes you disappointment on the pitch?

Hannah: When there is an overall negative feel to the game, whether that be in abuse to a referee or just small comments to players, football is a game for us all to enjoy and if that isn’t the overall outcome that can be disappointing


YEL: Where do you want to get to in the game?

Hannah: I would love to be able to officiate in the WSL


YEL: What made you want to join the National Youth Referee Development Programme?

Hannah: I wanted to join the NYRDT programme to give something back for all the help and support received up to now, and also help others progress within the refereeing family


YEL: What is your best/proudest moment so far as a referee?

Hannah: Best moment/ proudest achievement in refereeing was getting appointed to an U16’s women’s international game for the first time based at Bisham Abbey. England vs Ireland


YEL: What is your worst moment in football?

Hannah: Worst moment in football was getting injured whilst playing a senior game last year, and consequently missing a lot of the season due to my injury, I damaged the lateral ligaments in my ankle due to a challenge in which the player received a red card.



And what does Hannah’s appointment mean to the YEL?


Rob Harwood, CEO of the league, commented, ‘Having seen Hannah develop as a young referee over the last few years, it is no surprise she has been selected to join the National Youth Referee Development Team. It is a tremendous achievement and a notable accolade for the league. It is also helps shine a light on the tremendous work Andy Smith does behind the scenes assisting young referees in gaining the confidence to develop themselves into stars of the future. We are very proud of Hannah – a product of the YEL team.’

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